Connected TV being watched in 42 million homes

09.56 Europe/London, October 18, 2011 By Julian Clover

The number of homes that use the internet to watch TV shows and movies directly on the TV now numbers 42 million across Europe and the United States.

A new report from Strategy Analytics, Multiscreen Connected TV: Assessing Device Usage and Ownership, found that connected TV usage is twice as popular in the US as in Europe: 20 per cent of US respondents have watched internet content on their TV screens in the past month, compared to only 10 per cent of Europeans.
Strategy Analytics says the disparity reflects the relative strength of digital services such as Netflix and Hulu in the US market.
“These findings have important implications for content providers, device manufacturers and network operators,” says David Mercer, principal analyst and the report’s author. “They demonstrate that television viewers are prepared to go to significant lengths to watch their preferred television shows or movies on the big screen. In spite of the technical challenges, many people want to be freed from the constraints of traditional, managed television services if their choice of content is not available when they want, where they want, and at a price they are willing to pay.”
The 4,800 respondent survey also looks at the ways in which consumers are connecting their TVs to the internet. In the US, the most popular option is the games console, but Europeans prefer to connect a PC to the TV using an HDMI cable. Streaming over a home network and internet-connected Blu-ray disc players are also significant in both territories.
Apart from the TV screen, the PC is still the most important device. Personal devices such as tablets and smartphones are less popular, although tablets are likely to become more important as the market continues to grow rapidly.